Skip to main content
1:00 am
tomorrow night, it's the return of my all-time favorite guests, the outspoken and entertaining alec baldwin, talking from everything on politics to married life, to the fate of his "30 rock" character. alec baldwin live tomorrow night. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. good evening. it's 10:00 on the east coast and we begin with brooking news on the looming fiscal cliff. and signs of a potential fall. for the past few nights we've been telling you about the frustrating lack of progress to avert a deal on automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in less than four weeks from now. poll after poll shows the american people want compromise. but there weren't many signs that was going to happen, nothing was getting done. in a cnn/crc poll, 67% said washington officials would behave like spoiled children in the fiscal cliff discussions. only 28% said they would behave like responsible adults.
1:01 am
tonight, signs that maybe some adult behavior might be prevail. and a compromise might be reached. joining me now, dana bash, jessica yellin, and david gergen. what's the latest? >> reporter: they are a long way from a deal. but late today speaker boehner and president obama did speak to one another on the phone. now, this is an important development because it's the first time they've talked in a week about the fiscal cliff. i am told, though, that there was no real progress in negotiations. in this sense there was no breakthrough on that central point of tax rates. as you know, president obama insists there is no deal unless the gop agrees to raise rates on the top 2% of earners. the gop says that's a nonstarter. and the two men have not moved from that basic position. now, all of this comes at the same time treasury secretary geithner also said for the first time the administration would be willing to go over the fiscal
1:02 am
cliff if the gop does not agree to raise those rates. this was treasury secretary geithner earlier today on cnbc. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. all those americans, too, get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. so, in some sense it's a tax cut for all americans. >> reporter: bottom line, anderson, we're talking today but still at stalemate. >> yeah, i mean, it's a sign, jessica and dana, of just how lack -- how little progress there's been that a phone call is big news between these two. dana, we're also hearing hints of some move between republicans, coburn, olympia snowe. what are you hearing? how significant is it? >> reporter: it's significant for a couple reasons. you're right. three republicans in different ways suggested they would be
1:03 am
okay with what most repuan are saying, that they're not okay with, which is raising tax rates for the wealthiest. tom is the most conservative, in general, not just fiscally, the fact he broke with his party. the others have sort of gone along with this in some way, shape or form in the past. it's significant because the way these things kind of tend to go is that there is a little bit of a crack. and then that tends to send other cracks into the -- what is now a solid opposition. of republicans to raising rates on the wealthy. so, we'll see how that goes. however, i think it's important to underscore we're talking about senate republicans. and the key thing we have to watch is house republicans because if something can't get through the house, which still has a big majority of republicans, then it can't get through congress. those are the republicans we need to watch. >> david gergen, what do you make of this situation? do you think we're any closer to a deal? >> i think we might be, anderson.
1:04 am
listen, the political theater of all of this certainly suggests we're a long, long way from there. when erskine bowles says there's a one in three chance we'll be successful in avoiding the fiscal cliff, have you to pay attention. when geithner and other democrats are saying, we're willing to go over the cliff and that's a growing sentiment within the party, you have to think, wow, this is really going to happen. but if you look at the underlying conversation between them on the substance of it, here we have a republican party that for 22 years has uniformly opposed tax increases. now, john boehner has said not only we're putting $800 billion on the table but we're going to aim it at the rich. the rich are the ones that will pay. that's what he said today. yesterday, president obama said something that was very, very important. he offered the outlines of a deal that might work with republicans. that's something we talked about on your show a couple nights ago, anderson. that is, raise the rates now and then engage in conversations next year on tax discussions and
1:05 am
loopholes. and that's called base broadening. base broadening in the past has been attached to lowering the rates. lowering the rates. that's what happened in 1986 with tax reform. so, what the president is saying, there is a way to raise rates temporarily. but through further reform you say you're interested in, we could lower them back down next year. >> david, you've been critical of the president and democrats. do you still think they're overplaying their hand here? >> i think there are people around the president who are more interested or at least have a strong interest in using this as a way to humiliate republicans as a way to push them to the brink, as opposed to negotiating. we'll have to wait to see how it plays out. i think what we've seen with second-term presidents in the past, and the great scholar richard newstat wrote about this a long time ago. there's a danger in second terms
1:06 am
of hubris, of excessive pride, in the white house. i think we're seeing hints of that but it's unfair to -- let's see this play out a little more. i think they have enough to go into private negotiations right now. if both sides continue to refuse, i do think it is the president's responsibility. he is the leader of the country. i think the country is getting tired of watching two sides going, you go first, you go first. they need to get off that, sit down and get something worked out. >> jessica, from the white house's perspective, though, they feel they were burned before and they're trying a different strategy, is that true? >> reporter: true. you remember last summer during the debt talks the president was accused of negotiating, putting his compromised position on the table first, of selling out democrats, of negotiating against himself. so, he's doing the opposite this time, doing exactly what he was criticized for not doing last time. and he's being slammed for it, as well. white house officials shrug their shoulders every time we go to them ask them if they're engaging in overreach.
1:07 am
one reasons, anderson, they say they're not negotiating with the republicans on the rest of the issue, why don't they put the issue of tax rates aside and discuss everything else and come back to tax rates? they say it's because everything else is easy. they've gone through all of this during the debt talk discussions. and they know how this will get done. it can get done very quickly. the one issue for them is tax rates. they say, if the republicans break on that, when they break on it, they believe they will, everything else gets done very quickly. of course, the republicans see it differently. just adding quickly on that point david gergen made. the white house explicitly came out today saying, point-blank, they want a it would two-step process for tax reform, raise the top 2% to the clinton levels now. and let next year be a time for negotiating rates for the future and maybe everybody could lower the rates for everyone during that time. >> dana, how much of this do you think is just public posturing and kind of bloviating on cable channels?
1:08 am
it does seem like there's a lot of that going on. >> reporter: so much of that is public posturing and bloviating. but i think the difference between now and what we've seen in past high-stakes negotiations like this, you have the public posturing, the bloviating and the, okay, guys, let's roll up our sleeves and talk about what's really going on. by all accounts, that's not happening right now. just like you said, the fact you said it's news the president and speaker had their first phone conversation which got nowhere in a week is really amazing. and it speaks to the lack of the real conversations going on behind the scenes. i will say that, you know, back to what david and jessica were saying, david particularly, about the fact that -- the question about whether the white house and democrats in general are overreaching, look, when timothy geithner says today he's willing to go over the cliff, he's saying it because, yes, it's posturing. he's also saying it because he means it. democrats have been telling us this for a long time, for months and months and months before this was even close to the front burner. they say they realize they have
1:09 am
the leverage because at the end of the day, if republicans don't agree to anything, all tax rates will go up and they firmly believe republicans will get blamed. it was very obvious listening to the speaker today. i was at that press conference talking to him, that they understand they're losing the message war on this. that's why he made a point to say, it's not that we're not for raising taxes on wealthy. it's just a difference over rates. >> david, it's so interesting how things have changed. i spoke with george mitchell last night on the program. about to speak with senator trent lott. bought have written op-eds. in talking to them it's like talking to adults because they're talking about, you know, the way it was even five or six years ago where people actually had meetings with each other on opposite sides, and you know, knew each other and didn't just kind of disappear to their opposite corners and fly away to their home districts. they actually compromised. it's amazing to me how much things have changed just in the
1:10 am
last couple of years. >> it's true, anderson. it's dramatic. and i think there's a lot of blame to go around here. i don't want to try to push it one way or the other. but seeing bob dole on the floor yesterday of the congress, on the disability question and remembering how bob dole and george mitchell, how much they respected each other, how much they worked together, how much they both wanted to negotiate. there was a sense in the senate especially, but even in the house some years ago, that the purpose of being there was to make progress for the country. yes, you made your arguments loud and clear. at end of the day you sat down and negotiated it out because that's what the country needed. now, there's this -- there's this willingness to keep trying to pin the political blame on the other side, keep trying to push the other side, making sure they get the blame if this thing goes down rather than sort of saying, how do we make sure we don't go down? >> we'll leave it there. dana bash, jessica yellen, appreciate your reporting. signs there could be
1:11 am
progress, far from a done deal. as we mentioned treasury secretary said today, the obama administration is willing to go over the fiscal cliff if republicans don't agree to raising taxes on the rich. all this week, we've been focusing on what it is about this congress and this administration that makes it seem like compromise is a dirty word. certainly the extremes in the party seem to view it that way. we've been talking with past congressional leaders who have sat down at the negotiating table, facing sharp differences with the other political party in the past and still managing to come out with a deal. today, i spoke a short while ago with former senate majority leader trent lott, author of "herding cats: a life in politics." senator lott, you and senator mitchell wrote op-eds. and offering some solutions. you said one solution is to hold congress at hearings, marking up bills going on legislation. most americans would agree with that but be surprised to hear, i mean, that's their job. i think most of us, you know, would assume, isn't that their job description? >> well, they've slowly slipped
1:12 am
away from that over the last four years, i guess, particularly the last two years. the senate hasn't passed a budget resolution for several years now. they don't do appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year, not even before the end of the calendar year. they haven't had a traditional conference between the house and senate in at least a year. >> i mean, i don't want to sound hysterical but that sounds crazy to me. >> it does to me, too. frankly, it's one of the simple things they could do that would be a solution to the gridlock and the partisanship we have now. i think if they would go back to the old way of getting things done, carefully, systematically, it would really help them. >> here we are, to your point, the edge of a fiscal cliff, and congress is still taking three-day weekends and planning on a holiday break. >> you know, i did an interview last night. the moderator of a panel i was on was mark shields. he asked me, if you could just recommend one thing other than going back to what we call regular order, what would it be?
1:13 am
my recommendation to the congress and the president would be, quit campaigning, quit having press conferences. sit down at a round table and negotiate a deal. there's a little bit of a revisionist history where we talk about how it was so good in the old days. it was tough then, too. but we got it done. one of the ways we did it, we quit running around talking at each other and talked with each other. >> your op-ed, the headline was washington lost the love of the always a conservative republican. and i had very strong beliefs about certain things we should or should not do. but also thought that i was sent to washington by the people of my state, not to make a statement, but to make a difference and try to get a result. when you're dealing with 100 united states senators, let alone 435 house members, you're not going to get it all the way you want it.
1:14 am
the president's going to have to give some. the president has to show leadership. the leaders in the congress have to step up. it's kind of dangerous because, you know, the extremes of both you know, the extremes of both parties, they're not l
1:15 am
1:16 am
1:17 am
1:18 am
1:19 am
1:20 am
1:21 am
1:22 am
1:23 am
1:24 am
1:25 am
1:26 am
1:27 am
1:28 am
1:29 am
1:30 am
1:31 am
1:32 am
1:33 am
1:34 am
1:35 am
1:36 am
1:37 am
1:38 am
1:39 am
1:40 am
1:41 am
1:42 am
1:43 am
1:44 am
1:45 am
1:46 am
1:47 am
1:48 am
1:49 am
1:50 am
1:51 am
1:52 am
1:53 am
1:54 am
1:55 am
no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
1:56 am
starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough.
1:57 am
get to holiday fun faster of washington about the future of medicare and social security. anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin.
1:58 am
because for our 37 million members, only one word counts. get the facts at earnedasay.org. let's keep medicare... and social security strong for generations to come. time for the ridiculist. i'm proud to present to you a very important message from the esteemed former senator, highly respected elder statesman directed to the youth of america. >> stop instagraming your breakfast and tweeting your first world problems and getting on youtube so you can see "gangnam style." ♪ gangnam style >> normally i would say when former senator allen simpson
1:59 am
does it, it probably means "gangnam style" -- but the soda saves it. gives it a fresh twist. and there's more. >> start using those precious social media skills to go out and sign people up on this, three people a week. let it grow. don't forget, take part or get taken apart. boy, these old coots will clean out the treasury before you get there. >> it's a video for a group called the can kicks back, a bipartisan group by young people to fix the national debt. and i think they're on to something with this video. i feel like any time you get to hear allen simpson say these old coots and talk about instagraming your breakfast, it not only screams fiscal responsibility and could be used in peace talks and could cure the common cold. take a look at how the video ends. >> the lasso again. and then the horseback. horse, horse, the cowboys ride, the cowboys ride. >> it's video prozac.

tv
Anderson Cooper 360
CNN December 6, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EST

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 6, Anderson 4, Dana 4, David Gergen 3, Washington 3, Trent Lott 2, George Mitchell 2, Allen Simpson 2, Geithner 2, Bob Dole 2, Alec Baldwin 2, Jessica 2, America 2, Brooking 1, Jessica Yellin 1, Boehner 1, Mitchell 1, Olympia Snowe 1, Erskine Bowles 1, Obama 1
Network CNN
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Port 1234
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec mp2
Pixel width 720
Pixel height 480


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 12/6/2012
Views
41